Errata and: How to Put Five Pounds of Vegetables Into a Half Gallon Jar

Welcome!

Well, that was a bit longer of a hiatus than I had planned. I’ll be changing things up a bit here; doing some housekeeping. In the meantime, if you found your way here via the Hibernate workshop with the lovely Heather, I’m afraid I have some errata to report on the Bee Comforted hot water bottle cozy! It’s just one line:

errata

The eyelet round should read:

*k2tog, k1, yo, p1* repeat from * to end of row.

It was there in my notes all along. Sorry if I confuzzled you!

enchantedmesa

In sweater-land, I just started the fun part on my Enchanted Mesa pullover. I’m using sportweight, which feels like a slog since playing with a bulky project, but it’s interesting enough to keep me going. I’ve lost steam on the body of my fingering weight sweater, so hoping to complete the Mesa as a “break” from that. Knit, knit, knit. For so many more inches. Couldn’t handle the tiny, tiny yarn any longer.

cabbages

In other news, there are still vegetables at the farmer’s market in January in Vermont. I plan on purchasing cabbage each weekend until there isn’t any, and doing up a batch of new kraut every Sunday. It’s insurance, like successive plantings in the garden. Hopefully, I forget what they all are and have lovely surprises months from now. Because C has been on me to start processing the garlic we harvested back in August (yeah, yeah, let’s talk about this later), Garlic Kraut is what happened last night.

In the half-hour it took to whip this up, the sky went from sparkling, icy afternoon to dim and dusky, so here is the result, complete with dramatic lighting:

garlickraut

In three weeks, I’ll put it in the fridge, and try not to touch it for another couple of months. It will be challenging, but I probably have enough purple kimchi and gingered kohlrabi to see me through. Here’s what I did:

Garlic Kraut

5 heads cabbage, shredded

3 oz. garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife (for me, this was 5 heads)

enough carrots, sliced, to bring the total weight of vegetables, after prep, up to 5 pounds (weighing is important here!)

3 tablespoons Real Salt

Aaaaah, the simplicity is stunning!

Mix thoroughly in a large (very large) bowl or a food-grade bucket, with your hands. Once thoroughly combined, I like to let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes or so before I start to pack it. This time, I didn’t bother pounding it in the bucket, but rather just added small amounts to the jar at a time, and then really packed it in with a wooden pounder after each addition. By the time it was packed to the neck, there was a good inch of brine over the top when pressed. I placed one full cabbage leaf over the mixture and then weighed it down with an itty bitty pyrex bowl (the kind that comes with a set of nesting bowls like this), but you can use any glass weight. Stay away from metal and plastic in your ferments.

This is the magic formula for me: 5 pounds vegetation, 3 tablespoons salt. Works every time and fits perfectly in a half-gallon jar. I should probably do something more scientific, but why mess with it? We had maybe two cups of unsquished mix leftover, so I threw it into the soup that was simmering on the stove, and all was well. The worms in our little worm composter are currently enjoying the cabbage cores and carrot skin. Life is beautiful.

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